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El Bautismo de los nietos de Candida- To Mexico City for a Baptism and a Party!

Written on: Saturday April 12th, 2008

A journal entry from: North America in our Camper Van!

We received an invitation to attend Candida?s two grandson?s baptism, which happening in a suburb of Mexico City. She also asked to hire us to take some video footage and photos of the baptism and celebration, but we offered to do it for free. And so, that Saturday we picked up Candida?s husband outside her home in our van. He navigated us through the backroads as he jovially taught Rob the Spanish directions (derecho- straight, derecha- right, izquierdo- left). An hour and a half later we arrived at the mountain community of Xochimilco. The catholic baptism was similar to those I?ve previously attended, although with some slight differences. After mass, we walked through the town and arrived at a yard brightly decorated and covered with a large tent. Women at the back of the tent were busy cooking up? you guessed it- tortillas, as well as large pots of stew and vegetables over open fires. About one hundred and fifty people showed up for food and beer, which flowed continuously for the next 6 hours. We met and chatted with some interesting people and enjoyed the music and ambience. The children, in particular, with thrilled with our video equipment, camera and with us, and we had a lot of fun with them. One little boy, about 5 years old, kept following us around: ?Toca una foto de mi, toca una foto de mi!?. He would make a funny face or pose and then burst into laughter when we showed him the photo on the camera LCD screen. I played a balloon game with him for close to an hour and was deeply touched by his ?joy de vie? and fun personality.

As the daylight started to disappear, Rob and I decided that should probably start the 1.5 hour drive home, even though the party did not seem anywhere close to being over. As we had given Candida?s husband a ride to Milpa Alta, I thought it only polite to ensure that he or Candida were not expecting a ride back to Ocotitlan. Candida went on in Spanish and I only caught a fraction of what she said to me. ?Rob, I think that she is hoping that we will drive her two daughters back to Ocotitlan tonight?. We were thankful that the ride home was downhill as with the overheating issues that we were having we would otherwise have been very reluctant to take on any passengers. And since the family had been so kind to us, I didn?t want to deny the request for a ride home. As we said our goodbyes, and took a few last photos, I was impressed with how the whole family followed us up the long path to where the van was parked. ?Isn?t that nice?, I mentioned to Rob, ?they are walking us to the van to see us off!?. As Rob pulled the van up and I opened the side door, we were both a little shocked when everyone jumped into the van. I looked at Rob and knew that he was immediately upset, ?Michelle, the van cannot handle this?, he said under his breath. ?I?m sorry, I?m sooo sorry, but there?s no way I can ask them to get out??. Rob started driving. As we approached the first tope, I could tell that Rob was tense, likely imagining some catastrophic event. I decided to look back and actually count how many people were back there. 1,2,3?.,4,5,6?7 and counting the two young boys, 8 & 9! Although I was trying to be discreet, Rob must have heard me, ?how many??, he asked. ?It doesn?t matter?, I answered, ?just keep driving?. I turned around to talk to Candida and decided to again ask if everyone was planning on returning to Ocotitlan. This time I understood, 5 people were getting out at the highway, about 15 minutes away, including Candida and her husband. Only Candida?s two daughters, her niece and great-niece needed to return to Ocotitlan? only. Better than 9 people, I suppose. In the end, we made it back, had a few laughs and were glad to have a few navigators onboard- we would have had a hard time finding our way home in the dark on our own.